An Idiot in Power


What’s about to happen in the United States is proof of this: “When more than a hundred people agree on something, they almost always do something stupid.”

That’s a line from the great thinker from Bogota, Nicolas Gomez Davila, a favorite of Gerardo Bedoya’s for its truth.*

What’s about to happen in the United States is proof of this: The Americans may well commit the greatest stupidity of their lifetime by electing one of the stupidest politicians the country has ever produced.

This, however, should come as no surprise: As elections consist of many people who agree, the worst candidate is almost always elected. The above quote by “Don Colacho” (Gomez Davila) is unappealing.

Donald Trump is ignorant, xenophobic, a bully, a megalomaniac, a misogynist and many other things. But despite this, or more precisely because of this, his countrymen will catapult him toward the presidency this coming November. That is, unless something very strange happens, such as a sudden attack of good sense among American voters.

Trump had the good fortune, or rather the audacity, to be the right man at the right moment. After eight years of Democrats being in power—with more left-leaning policies than many Americans could handle—the country’s self-esteem is at a low point.

A good number of Americans feel that their country has lost its global supremacy due to Obama’s weakness as president. Just as Jimmy Carter was handed a bill for returning the Panama Canal to its rightful owners, Obama gets no thank you for reopening relations with Cuba.

The boiling fear of terrorism sweeping the planet plays right into Trump’s hands. Many Americans need to feel their president is protecting them, and Trump’s sheriff persona is more appealing than the retired aunt image Hillary has.

Many of us in Latin America don’t understand why Trump has so many Latino supporters when he has promised to build a wall separating Texas and Mexico and deport every undocumented Latino he can catch.

The reason is simple: There’s no one more xenophobic than an immigrant who has gotten his or her legal status. It takes a lot to become naturalized in the U.S. and the last thing immigrants seeking citizenship want is an avalanche of new immigrants to compete with.

So Trump not only has the support of the old America, whose credo is the famous Monroe Doctrine: “America for Americans,” but he can also count on the support of thousands of immigrants.

And what’s more, he has the perfect rival. While the Republican business magnate is a symbol of hard-earned success, the kind of person admired most in the nation of Uncle Sam, Clinton belongs to the privileged class who for years has wandered comfortably through the halls of Washington, exactly what the average American detests most.

In summary, the Americans won’t be choosing the candidate most prepared to govern them this November, but simply the one who looks most like them and their idea of what an American is.

It sounds stupid, but that’s how it goes in all elections.

*Editor’s note: Nicolas Davila was a Colombian conservative writer and thinker. Gerard Bedoya is a retired Colombian football (soccer) player.

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About Tristan Franz 93 Articles
Tristan is a teacher, writer, traveler and translator from Brooklyn, New York.

2 Comments

  1. Several overreaching and otherwise questionable statements here. First, no one sees Trump as “a symbol of hard-earned success” unless hard-earned means inheriting a fortune. For his entire life, Trump has been a member of “the privileged class.” As a 70-year-old American, I can also say that Trump does not have the support of “old America.” Finally, as someone who has lived and lived and worked in California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, I know that for many of us Americans, Trump is most definitely not our “idea of what an American is.”

    • You’re right – Trump has always been a member of the “privileged class” but I do think many Americans admire his success as a businessman, even if that success was basically inherited. I also think that while Trump may not be anyone’s “idea of what an American is”, he’ll get votes from many Americans simply because, as the article says, “he looks most like them.” Hillary’s image is hard for many people to relate to, she even seems robotic at times. Sadly, we (and many countries) end up electing candidates based almost solely on their personality/image rather than their policies/ideologies.

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